The King against The Inhabitants of the County of Oxford

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtCourt of the King's Bench
Judgment Date04 May 1811
Date04 May 1811

English Reports Citation: 104 E.R. 429

IN THE COURT OF KING'S BENCH

The King against The Inhabitants of the County of Oxford

For R. v. Nichols (13 East, 412, n.), see R. v. Plummer, [1902] 2 K. B. 344.

(a) This case is very imperfectly reported, upon all the points, in 2 Stra. 1227, which was the report now referred to. The following note of the same case is taken from Mr. Ford's MS. The King against Nicols, M. 17 Geo. 2, 1742.-The defendant was indicted for a conspiracy at Hieks's Hall. The jury found him guilty _of a conspiracy with one Bygrave. They likewise found that Bygrave died before this indictment was found ; and therefore pray the advice of the Court whether the defendant were guilty, as laid in the indictment. This special verdict(1) was removed here by certiorari; and now Serj. Urleh insisted that this defendant was indictable for the conspiracy, notwithstanding one of the conspirators was dead before the indictment was found. Rex v. Kinnerdey, Trin. 5 G-. 1, (1 Stra. 193). Two were indicted for a conspiracy; one pleaded and was convicted; and it was held that his trial and conviction were good, although the other conspirator did not come in and plead. And so, he said, was the opinion of my Lord Hale ; viz. that if one be found guilty, and the other do not come in upon process, or die pending the suit, yet judgment shall be had against the person convict. He likewise said that the defendant could not take advantage of this after trial, supposing he could have done so before : and compared it to the case of principal and accessary; if the principal do not appear, the accessary shall be put to answer; but he shall not be tried till the principal be attaint, or appear, unless he will; for he may wave the benefit of the law, 2 Bale's P. C. 224. Serj. Hayward, e contra, insisted that one person only could not be guilty of a conspiracy; and therefore if all the defendants but one who are prosecuted for a conspiracy be acquitted, the acquittal of the rest is the acquittal of that one also. Upon the same ground it has been held that no such prosecution is maintainable against a husband and wife only, because they are esteemed but as one person in law. This case stands upon the same principle; for Bygrave being dead, no indictment can be found nor evidence received against him. But suppose Bygrave had been indicted, and died pending the suit, the defendant must have been acquitted, because the conspiracy must be proved between two...

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